Series & Parallel

Last Reviewed: Mon, 27/Mar/2017

Series and Parallel
Suppose I have two identical 12 volt batteries. If I connect the positive of battery 1 to the negative of battery 2, I will measure 24 volts between the negative of battery 1 and the positive of battery 2. This is a series circuit. Voltage adds, but current and amp hours do not. I can run 24 volts at the same current as either of the batteries can produce, and at the capacity (amp hours) of either of the batteries. If I connect negative of battery 1 to negative of battery 2, positive of battery 1 to positive of battery 2, I will read 12 volts from either battery's negative to either battery's positive. This is a parallel circuit. Current and amp hours add, but voltage does not. Expressed another way:

Series Adds voltage
Parallel Adds amps and amp hours

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